Niels Swinkels

Native Dutchman Niels Swinkels is a freelance journalist, musicologist, and sound engineer. Before moving to San Francisco, he was the arts editor and senior classical music/opera critic for Brabants Dagblad, a regional daily newspaper in the Netherlands. As a freelance writer and sound engineer, he currently works for San Francisco Opera, KALW Local Public Radio, Elevation Online, Earprint Productions, and others.

Articles by this Author

Choral REVIEW
 Volti  The Journey That Is <em>Pandora’s Gift</em>
May 20, 2015
Volti’s Pandora’s Gift, performed with the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir, leaves a lasting visual impression. More about Volti »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony: Bernstein Obscures Mahler
May 13, 2015

A lovely rendering of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony is unfortunately paired with Bernstein’s brash, ostentatious Age of Anxiety.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists Show the Lighter Side of Bach
May 6, 2015
The early music group introduced a young cello soloist and played a sprightly reading of a Bach orchestral suite. More about American Bach Soloists »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Les Arts Florissants and the Heartaches of Love
May 6, 2015
William Christie’s vocal and instrumental Baroque ensemble brings the language of love to Cal Performances. More about Cal Performances »
Opera REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  John Eliot Gardiner Works His Magic in <em>L’Orfeo</em>
April 29, 2015
It was a delight to see conductor and musicians alike perform Monteverdi’s 1607 “favola in musica.” More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 California Bach Society  An Enchanting Mix of Cal Bach and Guitar
April 28, 2015
The California Bach Society’s "An Italian Lineage" explored an intriguing mix of composers from the 16th, 17th, and 20th centuries. More about California Bach Society »
Artist Spotlight
April 22, 2015
The conductor talks about his life-long admiration for the composer and his role in the early music revival. More »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Cypress String Quartet  Reimagining Beethoven With Help From the Cypress String Quartet
April 15, 2015

French composer Philippe Hersant’s Der Gestirnte Himmel gets its world premiere with the Bay Area-based quartet.

More about Cypress String Quartet »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Feddeck and SFS Phenomenal in Bruckner’s Eighth
March 31, 2015
Guest conductor James Feddeck leads the San Francisco Symphony in a fantastic debut. More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Voices of Music  Voices of Music Ends Season Basking in Mediterranean Glow
March 24, 2015
The camaraderie of the Early Music ensemble creates an intimacy that makes each performance a joy to watch. More about Voices of Music »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  S.F. Symphony, Ton Koopman Party with Haydn
March 17, 2015

The Dutch conductor’s work with the San Francisco Symphony leads to remarkable results.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Adès's <em>In Seven Days</em> Comes Up Short
March 10, 2015

The composer Thomas Adès did not impress SFCV's reviewer any more than the conductor Adès did.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Cal Performances Review Hespèrion XXI: Splendor from Istanbul
February 24, 2015

Jordi Savall continues his magical odyssey through the musical world of historical Istanbul.

More about Cal Performances »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Rotterdam Philharmonic: The Other Great Dutch Orchestra
February 19, 2015

On its U.S. tour, the orchestra delivered unequivocal proof that it is a fantastic ensemble, and that Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a phenomenal conductor.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Early Music/Baroque REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque Explores Music of Bach's Cousins
February 10, 2015

Bach's musical cousins got a highly satisfactory hearing from the historical performance specialists.

More about Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 San Francisco Symphony  Goodwin and Teuscher Shine in SFS Debuts
February 3, 2015

Paul Goodwin's conducting debut with S.F. Symphony was welcome, if belated, while soprano Lydia Teuscher stole the show.

More about San Francisco Symphony »
Opera REVIEW
 American Bach Soloists  American Bach Soloists and the Enduring Charm of <em>Acis and Galatea</em>
January 29, 2015

ABS did a terrific job with the most winning of Handel’s theater works, introducing a fine soprano in the process.

More about American Bach Soloists »
Recital REVIEW
 Cal Performances  Kremer and Trifonov Deliver Rewards with Challenging Program
January 18, 2015

Warm and fuzzy it wasn't, but Gidon Kremer's traversal of two pieces by Soviet composer Mieczysław Weinberg were worth the price of admission.

More about Cal Performances »
Choral REVIEW
 San Francisco Choral Artists  Unforgettable Postcards From Abroad
December 14, 2014

With Artistic Director Magen Solomon as tour guide, the S.F. Choral Artists took their audiences on an unusual holiday trip around the world.

More about San Francisco Choral Artists »
Chamber Orchestra/Orchestra REVIEW
 Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra  Philharmonia Baroque Chorale Steals Christmas (in the Best Possible Way)
December 9, 2014

With all due respect to the fine orchestra and lauded guest soloists, it was the voices of the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale that made their “Joyous Christmas” concert an evening to remember.

More about Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra »